Landmarks highlight students’ Europe trip
Posted: Thursday, June 17, 2010 9:05 pm
By GLENDA CAUDLE
Special Features Editor
Soho. Picadilly Circus. Trafalgar Square. Big Ben. Leicester Square.
Once upon a time, these were simply engaging English environs that might pop up in the lyrics of a best-selling CD or bustling British backdrops for some popular teen-focused DVD.
But as of Wednesday evening, those London landmarks had achieved “been there, done that” status for 11 European-roving travelers from Obion County.
And while the well-known phrase may be used to communicate a blasé attitude in every day usage, for Lakevius Turner, a rising senior at Union City High School, and his Class of 2011 travelmates and their chaperones, “been there, done that” now conveys high excitement instead.
That much was evident when Turner, who is the son of Genika Turner of Fulton and the grandson of Jeffery and Genice Parchman of Union City, phoned home Wednesday evening to report on the activities of the group, who were winding down from the first of 12 days in an all-expense-paid trip to some of the major cities in Europe. The event is provided by Union City Rotary Club and is the ure that is completely underwritten by the local organization for the benefit of students in Obion County who are about to begin their senior year of high school.
Once their plane crossed the Atlantic from the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport and touched down in London early Wednesday morning (while folks at home were still snug in the beds), the group hit the ground running — daring jet lag to catch up with them.
Joanna Wisener, a UCHS English teacher, and her husband, Clark, are in charge for the exciting trip, which the student group has been personalizing ever since they were selected by a special Rotary tour group committee in November. The rest of the group includes Turner’s UCHS classmates — Trey Maddox, Chase Bowling, Megan Hickman, Cameryn Fishel, Kassadie Mullins and Jasmine Davis — and Obion County Central student representative Alton Alexander of Hornbeak and South Fulton High School Class of 2011 member Jacob Cleaver.
The students have completed research papers on the places they will see and have attended several Saturday and after-school classes to prepare them for the sites they will be visiting as they make a whirlwind trip through not only London, but also Paris; Lucerne, Switzerland; and several sites in Italy, including Rome, before returning home June 27.
But nothing compares to the real thing. While they will be shepherded through their travels by representatives of Cosmos Travel through Travel One in Union City, they will have some time on their own in each of the cities they visit. And they are committed to squeezing in as many stops as possible.
Turner told his family the itinerary for today includes St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Tower of London and the British Museum, plus whatever else can be packed in before the need for sleep overtakes them.
On Friday, it will be off to Paris and even more adventure.
At a pre-trip picnic Saturday, the students’ families set up a calling tree to share reports of each day’s adventure. The group will check in each evening — usually at a mid-afternoon time locally, since Tennessee lags six to seven hours behind the busy group — on a phone specially provided by Woods Communication in Union City.
In addition, where their hotels provide access, they will keep in touch by the Internet. As their reports filter through families who are tracking their progress through Europe, we will be sharing their adventures with The Messenger’s readers, as well.
Mrs. Caudle may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Published in The Messenger 6.17.10